• Category Archives Linux
  • Printers of Christmas past….

    There has been a recent discussion on one of the mailing lists I am on concerning the securing of network printers from those that should not be printing to them.

    One of the replies to this thread came from the brother of an old VAXer friend…

    This is the ghost of print jobs past.
    Next you’ll get print jobs showing current inventory.
    Then finally you’ll get a print job showing the inventory 20 years in the future, followed by your own obituary.
    At that point you will need to run around handing out free paper to everyone you’ve ever wronged.

    It just tickled my fancy, is all…

  • How to get poor customer reviews

    So, at work we have a cluster that recently went out of warranty with a company. This was a three year warranty… no problem, and we knew that the warranty was going to expire. We get that… we know that warranties expire and that after they expire we would have to pay for parts.

    So a couple of months after the warranty expires, we lose a couple of power supplies on some of the nodes. No big deal.. this happens as well. Call up the company and request three new ones, with the expectation that we would have to pay for them. The response?

    “Sorry, we contacted the supplier and those power supplies are no longer available. You are SOL.”

    This is only a couple of months after the warranty expired. What if we were still under warranty? Would they honor it then? How could they, since the supplier no longer makes them?

    So… with that in mind, I think we just dropped Penguin Computing as being any sort of supplier for our equipment. (oh, there are more reasons that this to have dropped them… this I think is just going to be the icing on the cake.)


  • distributed.net testing

    So, I am doing some runs with the latest distributed.net client, version 517, dated 2010-06-28. It still doesn’t have processor detection available that works with Magny-Cours systems, and instead detects them as having a processor with tag equal to “40010001”. Magny-Cours has been around for over six months now, so I would have expected these guys to have gotten the processor detection for them by now.

    Anyway, I am running the client on a quad-socket Magny-Cours system we have that has quad AMD 6174’s, running at 2.2ghz. Looks like I am getting in the range of 350M keys/sec, which is pretty damned good. I ran this same test on a similar machine about six months ago, and was only able to get about 305M keys/sec. Not sure if this is because it is a different machine with significantly more RAM (128GB) or if the updated client is a bit better in performance.

  • Upgrade mediawiki

    OK… so when it comes time to upgrade mediawiki, and you happen to have more than one mediawiki site enabled on your website, you have to do some trickery in order to get the database to update properly.

    In my case, I have a script that matches against the $callingURL in the LocalSettings.php file. If it matches a specific case, it changes the site name and database name to a different one so that a different set of data is presented. Not that big a deal really, until it comes time to update the database due to a new version of mediawiki.

    When that happens, and you run the upgrade.php script as they state, it will only upgrade the default database, and not the other one, because the $callingURL won’t match. In this case you have to temporarily modify your LocalSettings.php file so that it forces the other database, and then it will upgrade that other database without issue.

  • GatorLUG Meeting

    Here at the GatorLUG meeting… talking about Google Fiber in Gainesville… at least as a possibility. There needs to be a lot more organization than I have seen so far in order for this to proceed, as well as a good bit more information. I feel so far that information is going to be the main thing that they are going to be needing at this time.

    The discussion has devolved into a political discussion, which for the most part is boring and ridiculous.

    Ed Allcut then gave a discussion about what good GPG is for. Eh, seeing as I don’t even like to admit that I have even used GPG, and that I feel that in most cases it is pretty much pointless, I have basically tuned it out. Instead I am being snippy about it on IRC.

    One question that has come up (at least to me): How would I implement a GPG enabled vacuum cleaner?

    The meeting is ending with a GPG signing, which quite frankly I am not going to participate in.

  • Microsoft vs OSS

    OK… I know that a lot of people consider Microsoft to be the bane of all things good. Well, sometimes they do come out with things that make sense, like the beginning of this article:

    MSDN Article

    Let’s just say that I agree, and that while everyone CAN read the source of OSS projects, it doesn’t mean that everyone DOES. I sort of liken this to the lesson learned in the movie Ratatoullie, where we learn that anyone can cook.

  • A couple of things

    Lessee… a couple of things…

    First, work is being a bit annoying. Our home area for the users went down, and of course there are no backups (no big deal, really… it is a part of policy and the users know that) but we really like to keep things running, so getting the home area back has been a priority for us for a couple of days now… and there has been no fruition. We are basically at the end of the rope now, and are trying to simply recover what we can.

    It sucks.

    And of course this is all happening now, when I have the first weekend in six months completely free with no plans whatsoever. Which means I will probably go in to work to see what I can do to fix things. *sigh*

    Got a new cable modem last night, though… DOCSIS 3.0 compliant. No idea if Cox cable is going to be providing me with better connections because of it, but by god I am ready for it when it comes… except that my router is maximum 100mbit, and the thing has a gigabit port on the back of it. Now I might have to start looking either for a gigabit port for the router, or a new router that has a gigabit port on it.

    In other news, the woman whom I mentioned earlier will be leaving the country in about a month or so. This is part of the reason why I didn’t pursue it further… I knew she was leaving for parts long and far away…  🙁

    I have a new harddrive for the Fulong, but haven’t put it in yet… I figure that might be something I do tonight… not sure if I am going to put gentoo on it, or go with the debian variant that is now available and not sucking so badly.

  • Website work

    Modified the css code so that even when a page is shorter than the full page, it is a bit taller than the screen. This forces the browser to always have a scrollbar. Why, you might ask? Well, because I center the webpages, they are always in a specific spot… but when a scrollbar appears automagically because the page is longer than the browser can display, the entire page shifts slightly to the left, which is bloody annoying. So, if we always make the page slightly larger than the browser window, there will always be a scrollbar and therefore there won’t be a shift between pages that have a need for a scrollbar and those that do not.

  • Presentations Cont.

    Well, the presentation went well. I was able to deliver exactly what I wanted to the class with the meager slides that I had created, which is exactly how I feel it should be done. The slides ARE my cue cards, dammit!

    After class went to a LUG meeting, which pretty much bored the daylights out of me. They did a long presentation on the programming language “Clojure”, which is just another variation on a theme and to me does not seem all that practical since it requires the JVM to run and a number of other things running at the same time just to get off the ground. There are some bonuses for using languages that compile into proper binaries or are dealt with through a light-weight interpreter.

  • My weekend

    Let’s see…

    First, I got torque running on the fulong. It works fine, and I am in contact with the torque maintainer for gentoo to get the mips keyword applied to it. Still not sure if I have mipsel tested on it yet, however. The problem with that is that I am not sure if I actually have any mipsel machines to test it against, so it is sort of up in the air. Regardless, it is working for me quite well, and I have the Fulong running it as a client.

    Second, figured out a problem that occurs when installing maui on a gentoo system. Apparently when it installs, it has no idea what kind of resource manager you may have installed on a system, so it doesn’t bother to list one in the configuration. This is a problem on a couple of different levels:

    • Maui should fail or give some sort of warning that no resource manager is configured for use on the scheduler. This may be by design as you may just want it to start without any sort of resource manager, but in that case I think I would want the line to still be listed in the configuration with a dummy module or something defined so that you know that it is set for that kind of operation.
    • The gentoo installer should define in that configuration file what kind of resource manager you have installed. Gentoo already has maui depending on the pbs virtual package, which is only provided by sys-cluster/torque, so this could easily be defined. If another pbs virtual package for resource manager appears, I expect that there is a way for the ebuild language to figure out which one is being provided by the virtual package of pbs.

    I’ve also been watching the Olympics, and rooting for the teams that I feel should be rooted for. The US has done exceedingly well in the swimming events, and they cleaned house in women’s sabre, which I feel is wrong. No one nation should be able to take all three medals in an event. I believe that this is something that is being worked on by the IOC, but apparently not in time for these Olympics. Watching the women’s gymnastics was a bit horrifying, seeing as the floor routines were… well… not pretty. Also, what the hell is up with the apparently required technique of throwing in a double-pirouette into the routine? It looks STUPID!

    So all this, and last night I made dinner for a wonderful woman I know. Pot roast, mashed potatoes, and peas. The pot roast is sort of a specialty of mine these days, because I take the time to do it right. Started the night before by taking the roast and soaking it in vinegar and red wine, then in the morning added some diced tomatoes to the mix for some real breakdown of connective tissues. At around 1pm I added sliced onion, chopped carrot, condensed tomato soup, and some brown sugar to the mix. Then I took the meat out of the mixture and braised it in a pan before returning it to the pot. Then a nice slow cook in the pot at 225F for the next seven hours.

    The potatoes were boiled in salted water for about 30 minutes until soft, then removed from the water and mashed with a masher. A bit of salt, a bit of cream, and bobs your uncle you have some delightful mashed potatoes. Just before serving, pulled out some of the chunky bits from the pot roast pot (you know, the onions and carrots, along with some of the juice) and threw all of that into a blender. Blended it, added a bit of slurried flower, and poof, a wonderful gravy to go with it all.

    Unfortunately, I let the peas go a bit long, so they were on the mushy side.  🙁 She didn’t seem to mind, so I let it go. She loved the gravy, so that seems to be a good thing.  🙂